The Montreal Canadiens, set to face off against the New York Rangers Saturday, will be playing in their second Eastern Conference Final in five seasons. While few may have predicted the Habs would make it this far this postseason, now that they have, anything can happen.
In many ways, this team is very similar to the one that ended up losing in the third round in five games back in 2009-10. The most obvious example is how the Habs are right now riding a hot goalie in Carey Price just like back then when they had Jaroslav Halak.
Also of note, this team just knocked off the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston Bruins. Four years ago, the Canadiens beat the top-seeded Washington Capitals in the first round. And, finally, just like in 2009-10, they’ll be facing an old Atlantic Division opponent in Round 3.
However, that’s where the similarities end. Whereas the Canadiens were arguable underdogs in every round up to and including that conference final against the Philadelphia Flyers, they should very much be considered the favorites against New York. Here are five reasons why: